Bedazzling Belgium: A walking tour around the capital of Europe (Part 3)

Woot! Maerose here 😉 Finally, I got my kursbevis (course certificate) for Norwegian level B1. It literally felt like playing hide-and-seek with motivation, so I’m very glad that I finally finished and passed the course. Now, I only need think about the summer Norwegian class that I’m going to take. So help me God. 🙂

For now, here’s the continuation of my escapade in Belgium, the “battleground of Europe”. If you missed the first two entries: Bedazzling Belgium and the Big Bang theory ( Part 1), Bedazzling Belgium: Of waffles and fries and the Belgian Beer Weekend (Part 2)Brussels is not only about yummy snacks and beer. It also boasts famous landmarks, two of which are the topics of this post.

Welcome to the capital of Europe!
Welcome to the capital of Europe!

The city is dubbed as the capital of Europe, and it’s because you’ll find the headquarters of international organizations there. For instance, in Brussels lies the main institutions of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). According to sources, the city has even more ambassadors and journalists than in Washington D.C.! Anyway, my host and I took a walking tour around the city, and since he’s not based in Brussels, we were both astounded by how neat and sophisticated the city was! The cobbled streets are narrow, and you’ll find all kinds of stores and restaurants. The Belgians particularly like to stay out in the sun, an enjoy delicious meals in restaurant seats by the road side. Ha! Typical “Europe”. 😉

The narrow streets of Brussels
The narrow streets of Brussels
Architecture in Brussels
Architecture in Brussels
A busy intersection in Brussels
A busy intersection in Brussels
Just me in Brussels :)
Just me in Brussels 🙂

Two of the city’s famous landmarks are the Mannekin Pis and the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. My friend and I didn’t waste much time and rushed to see both! First to spot was the beautiful Roman Catholic church, which was first founded in the 9th century as a small chapel dedicated to St. Michael. After many renovations in a span of 300 years, the church was finally completed in the 1500s, and in 1962, it was given the cathedral status. For non-religious readers, the difference between a church and a cathedral is basically the size and the administration. A cathedral is bigger and serves as “home” to a bishop. A church, on the other hand, is ran by a priest or a group of clergymen. A chapel, nonetheless, is the smallest public structure for worship. It usually houses no priests nor clergymen who conduct/s regular Holy Masses.

The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula
The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula
The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula
The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula
Cathedral windows
Cathedral interior
Cathedral interior
Cathedral interior
Cathedral logbook
Cathedral logbook

Because of the cathedral’s location and elegance, it is often the venue for royal weddings and state funerals. To read more about the cathedral, visit: Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. Just outside the cathedral is a nice park with art installations:

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Just don’t be surprised to see naked bodies in the park though. Again, very “European”. 😉 I also got to see the famous bronze statue of the urinating boy, the Mannekin Pis! Well, it was literally very small, only 61 cms in height. So it was difficult to get a photo with it without brushing yourself against the tourists.

The Mannekin pis
The Mannekin pis

I am a little curious about this little boy statues fanaticism. Here in Norway, the angry boy statue in Vigelandsparken is also a famous landmark or attraction. Coincidence? Anyway, the Mannekin Pis was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder in the 1600s. There are many legends surrounding the little boy, visit this to read more about the legends and the history of the statue: Mannekin Pis.

A funny replica of the mannekin pis
A funny replica of the mannekin pis
Mannekin Pis on street art/graffiti
Mannekin Pis on street art/graffiti

Another fun fact about the boy: the Belgians change his costume every week, and he has received hundreds of clothes as gifts from different countries. I find the boy really adorable, so I bought a wine cork opener of him, with his little patootie serving as the coil to screw the cork open with. hahaha 😉 On our way to the Palace, my host and I also passed by this Theater:

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And this funny smurf:

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Hey, did you know that the Smurfs is Belgian? The city is also dubbed “the comic city” because of its contribution to the art genre. More about that and other things to see in Brussels on my next entry.

This is all for now. I woke up really early today, at 4am, to travel back to my work station. Thanks to my bf for walking with me at that ungodly hour every Mondays and Wednesdays. :’-) #spreadlove

See you on my next post! ❤

Maerose in Brussels
Maerose in Brussels
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